Hope for Iannelli
The home and
studio of famed sculptor Alfonso Iannelli (1888-1965)
may have received a stay of execution in January, when a
donor offered a challenge grant to help purchase the
pair of threatened buildings.
donor has proposed donating up to $200,000—at a rate of
$1 for every $2 that the nonprofit Kalo Foundation
raises to purchase and restore the historic property.
Meanwhile, another sale is currently pending with a
developer who has proposed constructing four two-story
townhouses on the site. However, that project requires a
his artist wife Margaret bought the home and former
blacksmith shop in 1919, establishing one of the
region’s most famous—and successful—commercial art
firms. The studio, which operated for more than four
decades, was “the place where Chicago’s creative
architecture found its art,” according to historian Tim
Samuelson, who says the site is integral to the design
roots of American Modernism.
location (225 N. Northwest Highway), Iannelli produced
innovative sculptures in collaboration with such
architects as Barry Byrne, Purcell & Elmslie, and Frank
Lloyd Wright. He and his studio assistants, which
included Ruth Blackwell, Bruce Goff, and Edgar Miller,
also produced a wide range of other designs, including
advertising, architectural interiors, and industrial
The goal of
the Kalo Foundation is to save and restore the home and
studio as a museum of local art history.
To learn more …